River related artwork

We’ve been having exchanges about water-sports related music and aesthetically pleasing hand-crafted boats and paddles, so I thought I’d throw in something a little different about a boating-related visual arts project that folks might enjoy seeing.

Anyone who has paddled in the Capital District area of upstate New York may be familiar with Fish Creek near Saratoga Springs, which is not only a lovely feeder stream to the Hudson River and a great place for a leisurely summer day paddle but is a regional site for National Rowing Association official competitions. Full disclosure: my brother Nick is the artist who designed and made this piece of art and his son Noah (my nephew and godson) was one of the champion rowers on the Saratoga Rowing Association’s 4-man team when he was in high school. Noah is also an artist (now at Tyler School of Art at Temple in Philly) and he helped with the mural. I’m allowed to brag :-).

Nick was commissioned by SRA to create this intricate 8’ long glass mosaic mural – it’s the aerial view of the entire racing course on Fish Creek, – to hang in the SRA’s clubhouse and boatyard on the creek. The club’s trophies will be displayed here.

For anyone interested in visiting/paddling Fish Creek there is also a kayak rental livery (that shares a parking lot with a fabulous brick oven pizza bistro) and launch area on the creek at the bridge visible near the left end of the mosaic.

“…fabulous brick oven pizza bistro) and launch area…”

I just like the way those words go together well.

That’s a lovely piece. How long did it take him to complete it?

It’s an areial veiw glass mosaic mural. Very creative I like the concept!

It was based on large blowups he had made of Google Earth photos of the area so the terrain and buildings are quite accurate. They worked on the actual mosaic itself off and on over a couple of months at the house – I don’t know if he kept track of how many actual hours went into it. He had never done anything in glass like that before so he had to teach himself the technique, with tips from some local artisans. He’s always been an artist and graphic designer – in fact he designed the logo for the signs that mark the Saratoga area Greenbelt Hiking and Biking trail.

This section of the river where the race is run actually has hardware emplaced in the bed so they can attach floating lane marking cables to it for sanctioned competitions.

Fish Creek is only about a 15 minute drive from their house and we paddle on it every time I visit up there in fair weather. I gave my bro and sis in law their own kayaks so that they could enjoy it – he often puts in for a leisurely evening paddle on Fish Creek as a stress reducer (shot below of a section downstream of the race area). Lots of wildlife and pretty little cottages along the creek.

I wasn’t kidding about the pizza – the place is called Hearth and Harvest and they make just about the best pizza I’ve ever eaten, mostly using locally sourced natural ingredients and with a huge range of toppings (they’ll even do a gluten-free crust). Also wonderful salads and soups plus beer and wine. You can pull up your boat on the grass, walk in and have dinner looking out on the creek. My mouth waters just thinking about the place. Paddling plus pizza and beer afterwards right at the take out is a great combo.